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Snowstorm Hanover Wins Kentucky Futurity

Published: October 8, 2017 12:15 pm ET

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Dispatched as the 5-1 fourth choice in the second heat after a strong runner-up performance behind International Moni in the first heat, Snowstorm Hanover ($13.60) proved a gutsy winner in the $420,000 final of the 125th Kentucky Futurity on Sunday afternoon (October 8) at the Red Mile, parrying a late bid from Devious Man after stalking a contested middle half.

International Moni, sent off as the 3-2 favourite after defeating Snowstorm Hanover in their division of the first heat, broke stride before the start in the final, thus changing the complexion of the race entirely at its outset. As such, Matt Kakaley was able to position Snowstorm Hanover near enough to a soft early pace to be within striking range late. The son of Muscle Hill sat in fourth behind Bills Man (Corey Callahan), who worked clear of Yes Mickey (Åke Svanstedt) through a :29 first quarter before yielding to that rival up the far side.

What The Hill (David Miller), after winning the second first-heat division, emerged from third to press Yes Mickey to a :55.2 middle half after being flushed out by Kakaley, who kept Snowstorm Hanover second-over behind the developing duel before swinging three-wide at head-stretch. Snowstorm Hanover swept to the fore over his flattening stablemate and the worn-down Yes Mickey in mid-stretch, but was headed at the sixteenth pole by Devious Man (Andy Miller), who circled four-wide from well astern. Snowstorm Hanover dug in to reclaim the lead in the final yards, beating Devious Man by a hard-fought head in 1:53.2. Lindy The Great (Tim Tetrick) escaped a blind switch in mid-stretch to save third, while What The Hill and Yes Mickey faded to fourth and fifth respectively.

For trainer Ron Burke, the Futurity win capped a memorable Lexington meet, which included Hannelore Hanover’s record-breaking 1:49.2 mile on Saturday (October 7). His Burke Racing Stable shares ownership of Snowstorm Hanover, now an eight-time winner, with Frank Baldachino, Phil Collura, and the partnership of Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi.

“I said to Matt after the first heat that he was the only one with trot finishing in the first two heats, so try to give him a trip, and Matt couldn’t have done a better job to put him in the perfect spot,” recounted Burke.

And on a day where sloppy going and a stalker-favouring track bias saw many favourites vanquished in the last yards, second-over was certainly the place to be.

"The end of the year last year, he was super," said Kakaley of the Futurity winner. "He's got it in him if he shows up, that's for sure."

International Moni Brushes, Holds Sway In First Futurity Elim

Following his decisive Bluegrass win last week, the Moni Maker Stable’s International Moni ($4.40) used a powerful middle move from fourth to seize command on the far turn and held off a late charge from longshot Snowstorm Hanover to capture the first $90,000 first-heat elimination of the 125th Kentucky Futurity in 1:53.4.

Scott Zeron, who sported his own blue and white colours on the rain-drenched afternoon in lieu of the Lindy Farms black with blue hoops, settled the son of Love You into fourth spot early after his mild leave attempt was eclipsed by Giveitgasandgo (Brett Miller), who swept to the fore from post 9 to control early fractions of :28.3 and :56.2. With nine-sixteenths to go, International Moni angled off the pegs to commence his bid, and he pushed clear of Giveitgasandgo with ease three-eighths from home. Long Tom (Tim Tetrick), who lost International Moni’s cover on the far turn, failed to sustain his bid, forcing Bills Man (Corey Callahan) three-wide off the home turn as International Money gained separation from Giveitgasandgo.

International Moni started to gain separation in upper stretch, but his lead quickly shrunk in the final sixteenth when Snowstorm Hanover (Matt Kakaley) was able to split foes in the fading second flight and dive to the inside to give chase for the runner-up spot. Bills Man reached third, while King On The Hill (Yannick Gingras) and Di Oggi (David Miller) completed the top five to advance to the $420,000 final.

Frank Antonacci trains International Moni, who earned the eighth win of his career.

What The Hill Lifts From Pocket In Second Elim

After early exertion through the first five-sixteenths of the mile to clear from the far outside, What The Hill ($14.60) had enough left to make a second move in mid-stretch to capture the second Kentucky Futurity elimination in 1:53.3.

With Sortie and Jake out of contention due to breaks before the start, What The Hill had a much easier time getting involved from post 8 while Enterprise (Brian Sears) made an early push from midfield to take the lead. What The Hill completed his push clear after a :28.4 first quarter, but gave way to Devious Man (Andy Miller), who made a middle move from third past a :57 half mile.

What The Hill gapped slightly midway on the far turn while Devious Man handled first-over pressure from mild favourite Dover Dan (Corey Callahan), but swelled up again at the eighth pole as Devious Man was urged to find more after cornering. What The Hill found room to angle out in mid-stretch as Dover Dan faded, and he lunged to reach the line first in the final strides. Lindy The Great (Scott Zeron) rallied from astern to take second over the three-wide Yes Mickey (Åke Svanstedt), while the engulfed Devious Man and Dover Dan completed the top five to advance to the final.

Ron Burke trains What The Hill, a son of Muscle Hill with nine career wins to his record, for the Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stables, J&T Silva Stables, and Deo Volente Farms.

Ice Attraction Upsets In 52nd Kentucky Filly Futurity

With overwhelming favourite Ariana G having been pushed to the limit at the eighth pole, Ice Attraction ($61.40) and trainer-driver Åke Svanstedt were able to split foes and narrowly reach in a surprise victory in the $168,000 final of the 52nd Kentucky Filly Futurity.

Ice Attraction left between rivals to secure the pocket behind Treviso (Charlie Norris) through a :29 first quarter, but was relegated to third spot up the far side as Dream Together (Daniel Dubé) brushed to the fore up the far side and was subsequently locked in when Ariana G (Yannick Gingras) began her first-over ascent from fourth at a :57.1 halfway stage.

Ariana G advanced to engage Dream Together midway on the far turn, and the two elimination winners dueled into defeat—albeit gamely—through the last five-sixteenths of the mile. With both fillies fully extended reaching mid-stretch, Svanstedt located a seam in the three-path for Ice Attraction to bulldoze through—and they reached in the last moments of a 1:54.2 mile over sloppy going.

Ariana G remained a game second, while Dream Together finished third.

Svanstedt shares ownership of Ice Attraction—a daughter of Muscle Hill with eight career wins to her credit—with Douglas Sipple, Mal and Janet Burroughs, and Jeff Gural’s Little E, LLC.

Ariana G Strolls In First Filly Futurity Elim

Ariana G ($2.10) had plenty in reserve when she passed the winning post before five rivals in the first of two $36,000 first-heat eliminations of the 52nd Kentucky Filly Futurity, besting Highland Top Hill by 1-1/4 lengths in an under-wraps 1:54.4.

Yannick Gingras landed in the pocket with the daughter of Muscle Hill before brushing to overtake early pacesetter Highland Top Hill (David Miller) just beyond a soft :29.3 first quarter mile over a rain-saturated Red Mile track. After clearing with ease midway up the far side, Ariana G kept the pace easy through middle splits of :57.3 and 1:27 and easily turned aside a mild first-over bid from Sunshine Delight (Brett Miller), who emerged from third midway on the far turn, narrowly took second, and leveled off upon cornering for home.

Ariana G was well within herself to the line and was conserved smartly by Gingras after parrying her first-over foe. Highland Top Hill protected second by giving chase up the pegs, while Ice Attraction (Åke Svanstedt) lifted three-wide off stalled cover to take third. Sunshine Delight and Sianna Hanover (Dave Palone) were fourth and fifth respecitvely, and along with the aforementioned trio will advance to the $168,000 Filly Futurity final, carded as race eight.

Jimmy Takter trains 20-time winner Ariana G, a Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld homebred.

Dream Together Yields, Pounces In Second Filly Elim

After giving way to a middle-moving Thats All Moni after a :57.2 half, Dream Together ($7.20) found a clear inside lane in upper stretch en route to a 1:54 victory in the second Filly Futurity elimination.

Dream Together rebuffed two outside leavers upon entry to the first turn, but yielded to the pocket after early sectionals of :29 and :57.2 when Thats All Moni (Tim Tetrick) mounted a bold middle move up the far side and cleared just before reaching the far turn. Dream Baby Dream (Rod Allen), who chased the cover of Thats All Moni, pressed on after being left to face the breeze with three-eighths to go, and Dream Together comfortably stalked a :27.3 third-quarter duel before Daniel Dubé pointed her to an inside lane in upper stretch. The daughter of Muscle Hill worked through at first asking to engulf dueling leaders and record a 1:54 victory, the seventh of her career. Thats All Moni narrowly held second over Treviso (Charlie Norris), who made late inroads up the inside lane as well. Cool Cates (David Miller) and Dream Baby Dream rounded out the top five.

Luc Blais trains Dream Together for the Determination group of Montréal.

Fear The Dragon, Mikes Z Tam Take Tattersalls Splits

Fear The Dragon ($4.40, David Miller) stormed down the centre of the track to take the second of two divisions of the $406,000 American Ideal Tattersalls Pace, sponsored by Brittany Stallion Management, in 1:51.2.

Positioned fifth, Fear The Dragon sat off a :28.1 quarter set by Art Scene (Scott Zeron) before flushing out cover from Blood Line (Mark MacDonald) prior to a :56.1 half. Filibuster Hanover, sitting the pocket, tipped out around the final turn and took over the front from Art Scene at three-quarters in 1:23.3.

Filibuster Hanover held command through the stretch. Macs Jackpot (Aaron Merriman) off a rail trip circumvented Art Scene as he faltered to rush into contention towards the rail, while Fear The Dragon gained ground widest of all, sprinting by late leader Macs Jackpot to earn his 17th career win. Filibuster Hanover, the 4-5 favourite, held third.

Brian Brown trains the son of Dragon Again for Emerald Highlands Farm.

Mikes Z Tam ($12.60) and trainer-driver Pat Lachance rallied down the center of the track to take the first division of the Tattersalls in 1:52.4.

Downbytheseaside (Brian Sears), the 3-5 favourite, circled by Ocean Colony (Mark MacDonald) to take the lead after a :29.2 opening quarter and progressed to a :57 half before being pressured by stablemate McThriller (David Miller) from first over into the turn. Off three-quarters in 1:25.1, Downbytheseaside began to drift off the rail, while Mikes Z Tam and Miso Fast fanned towards the centre of the track to reel in the pacesetter. Mikes Z Tam surged to the front within the final sixteenth, holding off Miso Fast in the final strides while Downbytheseaside chased in third.

Lachance co-owns Mikes Z Tam, a gelded son of Bettors Delight, with the Z Tam Stables, M&M Harness Racing, and the Royal Flush Stables.

Idyllic Beach Upsets In Glen Garnsey

Idyllic Beach ($22.80) sustained uncovered progress from mid-division through the final three-eighths of the $234,000 Glen Garnsey Memorial Tattersalls Pace for three-year-old fillies to upset at 10-1.

With even-money favourite Blazin Britches (Trace Tetrick) off stride and far behind at the start, Caviart Ally (Tim Tetrick) became the horse to beat as the 8-5 second choice. She pushed clear of Jayes A Lady (Andy Miller) at the completion of a :28.1 first quarter, and yielded to a middle-moving Tequila Monday (David Miller) at the halfway stage in :55.1. Just upon entering the far turn, Yannick Gingras angled Idyllic Beach first-over, and the pair sustained gradual gains through the entire turn. The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere was carried three-wide in mid-stretch as Caviart Ally angled from the pocket to give chase, but the extra ground failed to deter her en route to a 1:52.2 victory, the 12th of her career. Caviart Ally did save second over the tiring Tequila Monday, while Jayes A Lady stayed on for third. Blazin Britches rallied belatedly down the grandstand side to finish fourth after her early miscue.

Jimmy Takter trains Idyllic Beach for the partnership of Takter, Fielding, Brixton Medical, Inc., and Katz.

Nike Franco N Vaults Clear In Four Roses/Allerage

Nike Franco N ($10.00, Tim Tetrick) tracked cover and shot by pacesetter Blue Moon Stride to take the $105,000 Four Roses Allerage Mare Pace in 1:51.2.

Pure Country (Marc MacDonald) launched for the lead from post 10, but was parked out by Wrangler Magic (Louis-Philippe Roy) at the quarter in :28. Pure Country worked to the front into the backstretch, but quickly yielded for the pocket when Blue Moon Stride (David Miller) edged wide from fourth and rushed to the top after a :55 half.

Lady Shadow (Yannick Gingras), trying to track that move, advanced steadily uncovered around the far turn, carrying Nike Franco N into contention and about two lengths from the front as Lady Shadow battled with Blue Moon Stride at three-quarters in 1:22.4.

Blue Moon Stride was unyielding on the lead as Lady Shadow hanged to her outside, though Nike Franco N, fanning towards the centre of the track into the stretch, rallied by the pacesetter to win. Blue Moon Stride was second, and Lady Shadow finished third.

Winning her 27th race in 51 starts, Nike Franco N, a seven-year-old McArdle mare out of the Badlands Hanover mare Nearea Franco, races for owner Richard Poillucci and is trained by Jim King, Jr.

Emoticon Hanover A Determined Winner In Crawford/Allerage

A much-anticipated showdown between Emoticon Hanover and Pasithea Face S developed in the final eighth of the $67,000 Crawford Farms/Allerage Farms for distaff trotters, and Miss Versatility champion Emoticon Hanover ($4.80) narrowly reached to defeat her rival in the final stride of a 1:51.2 mile over sloppy going.

Daniel Dubé put Emoticon Hanover in play from the outset, but the pair yielded to Pasithea Face S (Tim Tetrick) at the completion of the first eighth. The Dayton Trotting Derby winner controlled comfortable enough fractions of :28.3, :56.3, and 1:24.2, but Emoticon Hanover tracked intently from the pocket all the while before angling off the pegs to make her move a quarter from home.

While Pasithea Face S dug in to hold her ground in upper stretch, Emoticon Hanover mounted intensifying pressure through the final 150 yards and lunged to just reach by a scant nose in the final stride. Pasithea Face S was a game runner-up, while Charmed Life (Louis-Philippe Roy) was a one-paced third 2-1/4 lengths farther back, after fanning three-wide from third at head-stretch.

Luc Blais trains Emoticon Hanover, a four-year-old daughter of Kadabra and winner of 15 races in her career, for the Determination group.

(with files from Red Mile)

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